Abbott Finds $1.5bn For Mental Health
Michelle Draper, Adelaide Now (AAP), June 30, 2010
A COALITION proposal to fund early intervention mental health programs will ease the burden on services caring for patients with advanced mental illness, Australian of the Year Professor Patrick McGorry says.
With the prospect of an election date announcement looming, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott launched into campaign mode with a plan to provide 800 acute and sub-acute early intervention beds, 60 new youth mental health centres and 20 Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centres (EPPIC).
There is currently only one Early Psychosis Intervention Centre in Australia, based in metropolitan Melbourne.
The plan to roll the centres out nationally was a key recommendation in the federal government’s health commission reform report.
Prof McGorry, who previously criticised the Labor government for failing to prioritise mental health funding, said investing in early intervention centres would ease pressure on the mainstream mental health system.
“A lot of these young patients then won’t have to go into the mainstream system, freeing up a lot of capacity for patients in later stages of illness,” Prof McGorry said.